Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Johann Zarco continued his highly impressive progress aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 as he tirelessly lapped the Brno circuit today. The rapid French rider gained valuable insights as he focused on exploring setup options as well as sampling some new Michelin tyres. After completing a mammoth 70 laps, he set his best time on the penultimate lap and finished as the Top Independent rider. The findings leave him fully confident for the next outing in just a few days time.

Whilst Jonas Folger wrapped up the post Czech Grand Prix test in a thoroughly encouraging manner after posting the 8th fastest time as he gained valuable information for the remainder of the 2017 season. The young German tested electronics, settings and tyres as well as a new chassis which all heralded highly positive results. His best lap was only 0.139 behind his teammate, and now he eyes up the forthcoming Austrian Grand Prix with a new level of confidence.


Johann Zarco
Position: 5th - Time: 1'55.691 - Laps:70


 

Johann Zarco - 2017“After a solid weekend, but a tricky race, I was just happy to be back on my Yamaha today, yet the test went positively for me and we completed a lot of laps. The team and I didn’t test any new parts, but we looked at the setup of the YZR-M1 in order to improve the feeling and to try to always be fast yet relaxed. We did a good job and now I can also understand the bike a bit better, which allows me to give more valuable comments to the crew who can then enhance my Yamaha even more. Today I especially focused on the corner exit. When you start to struggle in a Grand Prix, it’s usually because of the rear grip and it’s sometimes difficult to have a solid drive and to follow the other riders, so I worked on this. Also, I tried the new tyres and the results were pleasing because we had a rear tyre that gave me a good feeling but it’s for next year. Additionally, I tried a front compound that Viñales likes, and I too am pleased with it. Today was positive and we made some interesting steps forward so let’s see how these results work in Austria.”


Jonas Folger
Position: 8th - Time: 1'55.830 - Laps:
48


Jonas Folger - 2017"The test today was very positive for us at Brno and we definitely found some advantages that will help. I sampled a difference chassis, which was interesting and I really like it. The turning is a little bit better than the other chassis so we have decided to use it for the rest of the season. Yet, before we did this, we worked on the settings in order to solve the issues that we experienced at the weekend. All in all, we did a super job. The aim was to try to get more load on the front, and the results are very positive. In addition, the chassis was beneficial as well so we certainly made two steps forward. In the end, we are more than pleased about today and I am looking forward to Spielberg where we will try the new settings that we found, and also the new chassis.”

Jonas Folger produced a fully determined effort today in the dramatic Czech GP to finish inside the top ten despite the difficult circumstances. The young German leapt forward from the fifth row of the grid and quickly set into a strong race pace. He opted to swap to his dry bike shortly after the GP began due to the drying track, yet a miscalculation by the team forced him to pit again one lap later. The change over left him down in 21st, but he remained focused and ran a formidable rhythm that was comparable to the leading bikes, and he muscled his way up to 10th by the fall of the flag.

Meanwhile, Johann Zarco concluded the shootout in 12th. The rapid French rider undertook a strong start as he began the hunt for a top finish. The track proceeded to dry quickly and Zarco decided to take the risk and pit later than the rest of the field. He changed bikes on the seventh lap and rejoined the sprint in 16th, but then produced a solid pace and charged forward before crossing the finish line in 12th.


Jonas Folger
Position: 10th - Championship: 7th - Points: 77


 

Jonas Folger - 2017“In the end my feeling on the bike was good, but it was a difficult race overall. When we began, it was wet but the track was drying up quickly. I was behind Marquez and I saw that he entered the pits so I decided to follow him in. Unfortunately, there was a mistake and I had to go through the pit lane but I couldn’t change bikes, so I had to pit again on the next lap. I lost some time but overall we found a good solution with the bike because we tried a different setting, which I have never tried before, so we took the risk to use this option in the race and it paid off. I rode some really good lap times, and I think that we could have been very competitive today, but I did a lot of work and overtook many riders. It was a shame about what happened but everyone makes mistakes, and this is racing. We still walked away with some championship points and we will try again in Austria.”


Johann Zarco
Position: 12th - Championship: 6th - Points: 88


 

Johann Zarco - 2017"It was a tricky race and I can’t hide my disappointment. We started the GP with rain tyres and I felt good so I hoped that we wouldn’t have to pit and that I could manage the Grand Prix like this, even if it was drying. Yet, the track cleared up very quickly and the strategy was to come into the pit lane to change the bike but I did this one or two laps too late and I lost almost ten seconds. If this didn’t happen then I could have been inside the top six. It’s all about experience and it’s always complicated to analyse and know if it will rain or not. Valentino was in front of me and he pitted, so I thought that maybe if I did one more lap, it could be beneficial. Yet, I lost more time and this a shame, but it was important to finish the race, take some points and learn. I have gained a lot of knowledge this weekend and I need to stay cool so that I can be fast in Austria.”


Hervé PONCHARAL
Team manager


 

“Today we have a bad feeling after the MotoGP race. I feel that we worked well throughout the weekend even though our qualifying positions were not ideal. Yet, we knew that the difficult weather and track conditions could benefit us. Jonas was very fast and he showed this in every session, especially at the right moments. Although he didn’t manage to make a fast lap for qualifying, his pace was really exciting and promising. He had an ok start, but the big turn of the race for the Tech3 team was when Jonas pitted and the bike, with the full slick tyres, was not ready so he had to do one more lap, which ended any hope for fighting for a top position. I was even more upset when I saw the times that he was running because his pace was strong and I don’t want to talk about what could have been, but if you look at his laps, then he would have been at the front and it would have been a podium for sure. I am really unhappy about this situation and in this kind of race you either lose it or win it with the strategy, and the bike should have been ready, which is easy to say now, but it needed to be. As for Johann, it was very exciting to see him fighting for the lead in the first part of the GP, but he made a mistake, in my opinion, because he should have pitted when Valentino did who was already late. If he had done this, it would have helped him to get a top five result. This weekend he was not as quick as his teammate because we saw that when Jonas caught and passed him, it helped Johann to up his pace. Anyway, this is a bad result for us today, and it was because we didn’t use our heads. I can only apologise to Jonas and the German fans and for Johann, he should watch what the experienced guys are doing in front of him.”

Johann Zarco will leap forward from 10th on the grid after producing a tireless effort in the blazing heat today in the Czech Republic. The rapid French rider completed FP3 in 8th, which secured his participation in QP2 and here, he pushed non-stop before qualifying on the fourth row for tomorrow’s sprint. With his eyes still firmly set on challenging for a top tier finish, he aims to undertake a typically strong start and then join the battle in the leading group.

Meanwhile, Jonas Folger will commence the race from 14th. The German star prepared for the qualifying shootout by notably finishing FP4 in 2nd. However, in Q1, he unfortunately did not see the chequered flag and began his fastest lap, which would have allowed him to progress through to Q2, after the session had ended. Nevertheless, he will begin from the fifth row and aims to undertake a rocket start and then dice for the leading satellite honours.


Johann Zarco
Position: 10th - Time: 1'56.075 - Laps:
7


Johann Zarco - 2017“Overall the qualifying was a bit tricky but I am ready for anything tomorrow. I was pleased with my lap time in FP3 and happy to be in the top ten which put me through to Q2. Then this afternoon, I felt positive on the bike, and the control was good, but I was missing some drive on the exit of the corner. I was able to follow some riders and the corner entry and speed was positive, yet, there was a bit too much spinning at the exit. Maybe it was too hot, but I wanted to be on the first two rows. However, 10th is not a disaster because the work that we did in FP4 was solid. Here, I was the only rider who stayed on the used tyres, and I could understand a lot of things and create a good feeling in case of a dry race tomorrow. It doesn’t matter what happens with the weather as I will be ready if it rains, because we had a test in the wet on Friday morning. If it is damp, then I know that I will have to get on the pace quickly to be fast in the race. Yet, if it’s dry, I think that, when compared to the guys in front, I can be more consistent after ten laps, even though I was not able to be really fast on a single lap this afternoon. We will have to fight anyway, but I am confident.”


Jonas Folger
Position: 14th - Time: 1'56.540 - Laps:
6


Jonas Folger - 2017"I am disappointed with today’s result because I was very close to getting into Qualifying 2. At the end of Q1, the last lap that I set was my fastest, but time ran out two seconds before I completed it and I thought I had another lap available because I didn’t see the chequered flag. I went even quicker, yet unfortunately, the session had already finished. This is a shame because our target was to have a strong qualifying today and we couldn’t achieve this, plus we can do much better. Now we have to wait until tomorrow, but we understand that we are quite strong, yet, I don’t feel completely comfortable on the bike, so we need to do a bit of work to find some solutions for the setting. I hope we can make a step, and I will give it everything that I have got.”

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